Monday, May 12, 2014

Probability

It is true that there is probability, but not in the way most think. It is not some actual thing that has some effect, rather it is an estimation of our ignorance. It is a neat trick to make sense out of events that happen too fast and contain too many variables to be calculated accurately. A good example is weather prediction. Everything is presented in terms of probability (eg. chance of rain), however, in actuality it either rains or it doesn't. There is wind or there is no wind. Still, the variables involved in predicting such complex events are innumerable. The moon, the rotation of the earth, the time of year, our angle to the sun, the temperature of every molecule of our atmosphere, an accurate count of the molecules of our atmosphere, topography, emissions, animal activity, water currents, water temperatures, and so on. With such a daunting number of variables, and the challenge each present, it makes sense to have probability sciences to help us understand such events, at least to some degree.